WWF calls on Croatia to endorse Leaders' Pledge for Nature

Clay Curtis
September 29, 2020

An extra 400,000 hectares of English countryside will be protected to support the recovery of nature under plans to be announced by Boris Johnson.

Let me tell you that Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the United Nations General Assembly had made a similar announcement regarding India's corona virus vaccine.

Costa Rica and France are co-chair countries of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, which is an intergovernmental coalition of more than 30 countries around the world, which is championing the 30% protection of the planet proposal.

Separately on Monday, more than 60 countries - also including European Union states, Britain and Canada - committed to 10 actions to reverse the loss of biodiversity by 2030, including integrating nature protection into COVID-19 recovery plans, increasing financing to protect the natural world, and clamping down on marine pollution and deforestation.

The prime minister will say: "We must turn these words into action and use them to build momentum, to agree ambitious goals and binding targets". We can not afford dither and delay because biodiversity loss is happening today and it is happening at a frightening rate. The U.K. left the bloc's political institutions in January and will make an economic break when a transition period ends December 31. "We have the second largest land mass, a fifth of the world's freshwater, and the longest coastline in the world, that together are critical for biodiversity and for securing carbon in nature in the fight against climate change", Canada's Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said.

Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel and Boris Johnson are among the figure heads who signed the document stating the world is in a "state of planetary emergency" requiring "urgent and immediate global action". They point out that around half of existing Sites of Special Scientific Interest in the United Kingdom are in poor condition, many through lack of funding.

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Data from the OECD analysed by The Nature Conservancy showed that in 2019 governments spent up to four times more money on agricultural, forestry and fisheries subsidies that degrade nature than on spending that protects it, an estimated $274-542 billion annually.

In Canada alone, populations of species assessed as at risk have declined on average 59 percent since 1970.

It must also clamp down on imports of food that have caused environmental destruction overseas - such as beef farming in the Amazon.

Campaign for Nature director Brian O'Donnell says scientists agree that at least 30% of the planet needs to be protected by 2030 to help confront the escalating crisis facing nature; meaning 30% of the planet must be conserved in a natural state by creating and expanding protected areas and dramatically increasing the capacity of nations to conserve lands, waters and wildlife. But he added: 'Targets on paper won't be enough. He said the pledges set ten years ago did not succeed because they were not followed up with real action.

Mr Harper said the pledge must be put into domestic law "as part of a suite of goals to restore the abundance and diversity of our wildlife, in every country in the UK". "[The pledge] is welcome but at Wildlife Trusts we estimate only five per cent of land is now in good state for wildlife, so there's a lot to do", chief executive Craig Bennett tweeted this morning. National parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty and other protected areas now comprise 26 per cent of land in England.

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